A Potent Voice in Rock to Give a ConcertKang San-e, who has been a locomotive force in Korean rock music, will hold a much-anticipated follow-up concert to his one in the summer of 1999. His concerts will run from Tuesday through March 4 under the amusing title, "Let's Go on a Picnic to the Rivers and the Mountains!"
The concert title is a pun on his full name, which means rivers and mountains. As the theme implies, the musician is hoping to make his concerts an entertaining and pleasurable outing for his fans. "When I hear the word 'picnic,' my heart starts beating fast. I'd like to make my concert like going on a fun picnic for my audience."
After the release of his first album in 1992, with its popular single, "Raguyo" ("He Said So"), Mr. Kang gained attention for his plaintive and powerful voice.
In "Raguyo," a son sings about his heartbroken father, who is forever nostalgic for his lost home in North Korea. Narrated from the viewpoint of South Korea's younger generation, the song's touching lyrics reminded those who did not directly experience the Korean War of the deep grief and loss felt by separated families.
The song was such a success that it soon became a staple at noraebangs, Korean-style karaoke establishments, and a particularly favorite pick for twentysomething karaoke buffs. With other hit songs under his belt such as "You Can Do It," Kang San-e has been grandly ascending the heights of Korean rock music stardom.
However, he does not seem to feel totally satisfied with himself. "Looking back on my career, I discovered that I did not perform many concerts. Therefore, this upcoming concert is my gesture of regret over past idleness. With this concert I'd like to return my fans' love and make a fresh start in my musical career."
For this dignified rocker, it is unacceptable to hold a concert twice a day. "That is because I can hardly concentrate all of my energy into one single concert, let alone two concerts a night," he said.
The costs of putting together a show usually require more than one performance a night in order to make ends meet. Nonetheless, Mr. Kang remains adamant about limiting the number of his performances so that he can guarantee an energized and quality show. He has been giving only one concert a night ever since 1996, when he released his third album.
Mr. Kang has reason to be steadfast in his routines, for this year proves to be a busy one for the singer. He will release his sixth album, a live recording of his concert performances, this April. He will then follow up his live album with another new album, to be released in the fall.
Despite his hectic schedule, Mr. Kang emphasizes that it is the quality of his music that counts. "As time goes by, I have come to realize that the harmony between emotion and musical talent is significant. I consider singing plainly but solidly to be my gift to my fans," he remarked.
by Choe Jae-hee